De La Salle College Waterford

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Geography Department

Our aim: 

That students would acquire an awareness and understanding of the processes involved in their physical, social and economic environment in relation to Ireland, Europe and the world. They also develop a range of practical, social, valuing and communication skills, which are of geographical and general significance.



Our objectives are that students should acquire knowledge, an understanding of concepts and develop skills and attitudes through the geography topics dealt with in class.


In the course of their studies students should acquire, develop and practice skills in:

_ Map interpretation

_ Figure interpretation

_ Photograph analysis

_ Numerical skills and calculations

_ Picture interpretation

_ Figure drawing

_ Map drawing

_ Fieldwork/Street work

_ Sampling

Scheme of work:

The department will produce a scheme of work agreed by all its members on an annual basis


Grouping of Students:

All Geography classes, junior and senior cycle, are mixed ability groups.


Student Access to Subject Level:

Geography is taught at higher level to all students up to junior certificate level.

Students are encouraged to take Geography at the highest level according to their ability. After junior certificate level students have the option to continue the subject or not.


Textbook and Course Materials:

Junior CertificateNew Complete Geography, Charles Hayes (Gill and Macmillan)

.Junior certificate examination papers in third year.


Leaving Certificate:  Fifth Year – Planet & People, Core Book 2nd Ed. Sue Honan & Sue Mullholland (Mentor)

Sixth Year – Today’s World, Book 2 New Ed. Liam Ashe & Kieran McCarthy (Edco)

Leaving certificate examination papers in sixth year.


Planning for Students with Special Needs:

The geography department tries to meet the needs of all students and is particularly sensitive to the Special Educational Needs of Students.


_ Consult regularly with Resource and Learning Support teachers regarding the needs of individual students.

_ Refer continually to Individual Educational Plans of students and work with


_ Modify teaching methods, content, questions, homework and examinations.

_ Attempt to deliver content in a manner that is easily understood.

_ Ensure that all classes are inclusive and that affirmation of students takes


_ Expose all students to all aspects of the course.


Planning for Culturally Diverse Society:

_ Geography is a subject that examines culturally diverse societies and

encourages respect and tolerance.

_ Students from different cultural backgrounds are encouraged to relate their

own experiences through the Geography of their own country, which can be

achieved through project work.

_ Particular care is taken when teaching Irish Geography.

_ Language skills can be developed through classroom discussion and



Cross-Curricular Planning:

_ There are many links between Geography and other subjects; Business

Studies, History, Religion, CSPE, Mathematics, Science and

Agricultural Science.

_ Planning between the Geography department and other subject departments is mainly informal.


Literacy & Numeracy: 

The department recognises the importance of  the development of a print rich environment. Particular attentention is given to both written grammer and language used in class.

Teachers will try to ensure that the highest  standards are maintained when using the white board or projector for notes, and that the students do likewise in their notes and exercise copies.

A word wall with key geographic terminology will be maintained in D2 and on the notice board at the E block concourse.

With regard to numeracy, the department will continue to promote numeracy throghout the curriculum where possible. Statistical analysis is a key part of modern geography and students at all levls have the opportunity to develop numeracy through the study of geography. With this in mind, it is envisaged this year that a mini field study be conducted with 2nd year students this year, and the gathering and analysis of data will enhance the students numerical skills.


Effective Teaching Methodologies:

Individual class teachers tailor teaching methods to suit the needs of their students, while following a general departmental programme and methodology.

Teachers teach through:

_ Instruction

_ Questions and Answers

_ Discussion

_ Group work

_ Themed Teaching

_ Fieldwork Investigation


_ Project work

_ Role-play

_ Workbook

_ Brain Storming

_ Research tasks

_ Diagrams and Sketch Map


Homework and Assessment Procedures:

_ Written homework is given in almost every class. This is often given so as to

Consolidate what the student has learned in class and therefore enhance

academic achievement.

_ Liaison with Learning Support Teachers takes place to devise suitable

homework tasks for students with special needs.

_ Students are advised to revise course content regularly.

_ Class tests are given at regular intervals during the year.

_ First year students are given a common examination paper for their Summer Examination.


Record Keeping Procedures:

_ Class teachers keep their own records of examination results, assessments,

attendance, homework etc.

_ Student assessment reports are passed on to the next geography teacher if there is a change of teacher.


Communication Procedures:

_ Formal subject department meetings are held at regular times throughout the year.

_ Informal meetings between Geography teachers take place regularly.

_ Teachers communicate with parents through the school journal, PNF’s

and formal Parent-Teacher meetings.


Health and Safety:

A copy of the school’s Health and Safety Policy is kept in the office. Geography teachers are advised to make themselves familiar with this document.

Planning of Geographical Investigations must incorporate health and safety guidelines


Range/Variety of Resources:


Teaching resources are filed and stored in the geography room- which include

_ Textbooks

_ Workbooks

_ Videos

_ Atlas’s

_ Internet

_ Overheads


Availability/Use of ICT Facilities:

_ Computer available to Geography teachers in the geography office.

_  Data Projector available in Geography room.

_ All classrooms will have access to internet broadband most classrooms have data projectors

_ E7 & E8 computer suites can be booked for classes





‘Geography is the study of people and their relationship with their environment’

(Department of Education and Science syllabus).

The philosophy of the Geography Department is to assist students in coming to an understanding of this relationship in an interesting, challenging and rewarding way, where students are able to ‘function more effectively as members of society’(syllabus).

The subject is taught and learned in an environment that is open, inclusive and supportive. A variety of teaching methodologies and resources are used to cater for the different ways in which a student learns. It is studied against the ‘background of a world’ (syllabus) that shows us:

_ Multi-cultural societies

_ Sharp social and economic inequalities

_ Increasing pace of socio-economic change

_ Declining environmental quality in many regions

The focus of study looks at local, national and international issues. We as a

department focus on the development of skills rather than on the retention of learning for learning sake. We work within the framework laid down by the syllabus. Our aim is to provide our students with the opportunities to develop their concepts, knowledge, skills and attitudes through the use of encouragement, assistance, opportunity, practice/ application, models, theories and principles. It is through this that we hope to develop a ‘positive attitude towards themselves, others and their environment’ so that they can achieve a ‘sensitive awareness of the aesthetic quality of the natural and cultural environment’ so that it will instil in them a ‘desire to maintain this quality’ (syllabus).


The learning outcomes as outlined in the syllabus centre on:

_ Knowledge and understanding of phenomena, processes, interaction,

principles, models, theories, issues and problems.

_ An ability to recall, use, select, interpret, represent, communicate, evaluate and apply.